A few facts from my research of the YOUD surname since 2006, the article is also available on wikipedia.
Karl L Held
YOUD (pronounced to rhyme with either "loud" or "food") is an English surname mostly found in Cheshire and Flintshire. Variants of the surname are YOUDE, EAUDE and YOULD, however YOUDS is not part of this group.The earliest record dates from 1427 and in 1562 the name appears in Little Budworth in Cheshire.
Origin of the name
The name is thought to come from Jude, an old English first name.
Theories of Huguenot, Flemish or Jewish roots cannot be substantiated and a recent DNA test also rules out any Viking roots.
The oldest record of the family name found so far is of a John EUDE in 1427, an English soldier stationed in Rouen garrison. He is listed on a muster roll from the Hundred Years' War with France. William YOULD and Davy YOULT, both archers, are also recorded in Normandy in 1430 and 1437 respectively.
The oldest parish register record appears in 1562 recording the baptism of Katrena YOLDE in Little Budworth, St. Peter. Church records there start in 1561. The surname then spreads to nearby towns and villages in West Cheshire and Flintshire, becoming relatively numerous in Frodsham, Hawarden, Oscroft, Kinnerton, Chester and eventually established in Liverpool from about 1740 onwards.
Over 40 variants of the surname were recorded in the 16th and 17th century, examples are:Yewd, Yeud, Yeoud, Yowd, Yeowed, Yowood, Eude, Eaude, Ewd, Hude, Hewde etc. Today only YOUD, YOUDE, EAUDE and YOULD are in use.
Distribution of the name
According to the Office for National Statistics some 670 people named YOUD, 227 YOUDE, 104 YOULD and 11 EAUDE lived in England & Wales in 2002.
The YOUD surname has now spread to many parts of the British Isles and through emigration also to USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Key emigrants of interest to family historians are:
James Youd (born 1815 Oscroft) 1849 to Utah & California
Samuel Youd (born 1808 Oscroft) 1851 to Missouri
Thomas Youd (born 1813 Tarvin ) 1851 to Utah
John Youd (born 1838 Bradley) 1865 to Connecticut
Robert Moreton Youd (born 1846 Bradley) 1880 to New Zealand
George Youd (born 1855 Bradley) 1880 to New Zealand
Fred Youd (born 1883 Waverton) 1908 to Chicago
Earl Youd (born 1889 Waverton) 1913 to Chicago
John (Jack) Youd (born 1879 Wybunbury) bef 1914 to Australia
William Yould (born 1820 Acton) 1855 to Nova Scotia
Fred Yould (born 1885 Frodsham) 1913 to Canada & USA
People with surname YOUD, YOUDE
Sam Youd (1922-2012), British science fiction writer, best known by his pseudonym John Christopher,
T. Leslie Youd (1939-), American geotechnical engineer
Edward Youde (1924-1986), Governor of Hong Kong 1982-1986
YOUD of Cheshire & YOUDS of Wirral http://wc.rootsweb.com/~kh3
The Soldier in Later Medieval England http://soldier-lews1.rdg.ac.uk/search.php
Surnames of England & Wales in 2002, ONS datahttp://www.taliesin-arlein.net/names/
Henry Harrison, Surnames of the United Kingdom, Volume Two, 1918https://archive.org/details/cu31924092512635http://forebears.co.uk/surnames/youd